Sunday, November 25, 2012

7 Degrees of Fire: White Flame Burns

All of life, love and desire is a divine white flame,
Not yet blue, but moving ever toward this fate
A beautiful synchronicity of the now

Evolving with or without us
Secret chasms of burning
In which all gods bow.

The land must burn his feet - Moby Dick
(Jypsy sent this to me before we met face to face.)

Moby Dick  
by Herman Melville


The Whiteness of The Whale

"What the white whale was to Ahab, has been hinted; what, at times, he was to me, as yet remains unsaid.
Aside from those more obvious considerations touching Moby Dick, which could not but occasionally awaken in any man’s soul some alarm, there was another thought, or rather vague, nameless horror concerning him, which at times by its intensity completely overpowered all the rest; and yet so mystical and well nigh ineffable was it, that I almost despair of putting it in a comprehensible form. It was the whiteness of the whale that above all things appalled me. But how can I hope to explain myself here; and yet, in some dim, random way, explain myself I must, else all these chapters might be naught.

I remember the first albatross I ever saw. It was during a prolonged gale, in waters hard upon the Antarctic seas. From my forenoon watch below, I ascended to the overclouded deck; and there, dashed upon the main hatches, I saw a regal, feathery thing of unspotted whiteness, and with a hooked, Roman bill sublime. At intervals, it arched forth its vast archangel wings, as if to embrace some holy ark. Wondrous flutterings and throbbings shook it. Though bodily unharmed, it uttered cries, as some king’s ghost in supernatural distress. Through its inexpressible, strange eyes, methought I peeped to secrets which took hold of God. As Abraham before the angels, I bowed myself; the white thing was so white, its wings so wide, and in those for ever exiled waters, I had lost the miserable warping memories of traditions and of towns. Long I gazed at that prodigy of plumage. I cannot tell, can only hint, the things that darted through me then. But at last I awoke; and turning, asked a sailor what bird was this. A goney, he replied. Goney! never had heard that name before; is it conceivable that this glorious thing is utterly unknown to men ashore! never! But some time after, I learned that goney was some seaman’s name for albatross. So that by no possibility could Coleridge’s wild Rhyme have had aught to do with those mystical impressions which were mine, when I saw that bird upon our deck. For neither had I then read the Rhyme, nor knew the bird to be an albatross. Yet, in saying this, I do but indirectly burnish a little brighter the noble merit of the poem and the poet."

7th Day of 42- White Fire

What is it about our ocean planet.  What is about the mystery of water that so enchants all of us?  The deep blue sea surrounds us, sustains our existence and yet we are ignorant.  I am seduced by the sailor, water, ships and creatures of the deep.  I am under a spell and have been since I was immersed in water and taught to swim.  But maybe this love affair started in the womb, since the moment I was conceived and breathed water.  

Maybe water called me to this adventure.  
The deep blue tides waxing and waning 
rising high and receeding low
is this my fate also?    

As we read the tender Meville in his mystic musings we can see the spell cast upon him also.  Between the white whale and the albatross, a mystical experience happened to a very ordinary man.  Have we forgotten the mystery of life in our modern pursuit of perfection and obsession with success.  

I received a call from a far away land last night a bit after midnight.  My friend was in Alaska.  He was exhausted and worried of his fate.  The engine room is a monster trying to eat him right now. So it is a bit of my friend, the gypsy's, fault for deciding that he would not be a permanent engineer.  He has freedom but he is also thrown onto ship, into the unknown.  He  is like those warriors that train and train.  They know how to wield a sword, but in battle do they do all those things they have trained for?  It is not easy.  You are responsible for an entire ship running  in a massive ocean.  Just don't mess with anything.  That would seem to work, but machines have a temper and or break a lot.  Now this is the whole point to my writing.  This is the essential part of the modern day hero's journey.  Can he complete the tasks, learn this ship like it was his lover.  Maybe this is a bit exaggerated, but it is similar.  This is a giant vessel prone to breaking.  It is man made, thus it is error prone.  We are imperfect, limited beings acting in a natural world.  We want to be as good as the natural world with our creations, especially our machines.  We are not doing so bad, but it is still a push, a difficult journey.  If we want to be on the level of the natural world with its intimate evolution, we must go beyond what is known.   

 I could feel his uneasiness with the task before him.  It is real.  What happens to the sailor so far out in the unknown.  The initiation and the mystical experience is wrapped into one wondrous life.  Which provokes the other?  Does the initiation proceed the mystical.  The hero must commit to something higher than himself to have those moments of wonder.  Yet I think we are missing the language and experience of the mystical in our modern work.  The modern hero is out in the vast unknown, pushed beyond his limits, but does he have the map of the mystical.  I think this is the missing link.  He exhausts all of his qualities, yet does not ascend to the mystical moment.  Even Meville understood that there were moments out in the vast regions of the Earth that time stopped and the heroes realized something divine.  Even if it was a simple beauty that took form in a giant white whale or albatross. 

The modern hero has lost the language and or map to the mystical.  There is is nothing that can be discovered or no feeling of reverence.  Everything has been explained and measured.  It has been researched and shown in the bright light of knowledge.  There is no doubt that life is numbers, chemistry and nothingness.  We are done.  Now we must just work to live.  

If there is one white whale that provokes a Melville to write or a sailor's obsession that provokes an artist to express himself then the mystery can return.  Do we invite it in?  It depends on the individual.  

The modern hero of the APL Philippines is a water creature able to pursue intense work.  Yet when it comes to his love, the mystical it takes a different form.  

I believe that the hero, the Jypsy pursues his mystical experience high on a mountain where everything is white.  There is no flame or at least not on the outside.  The flame or passion resides on the inside, deep within his being.  His true love is a white form of water.  The mystery of water that takes the frozen unique geometrical forms and falls.  Way up on the mountain where the summit summons him is where his gods dwell.  He hides this passion, this white flame that burns in him.  Yet he hunts for this flame, this passion consumes him enough that he feels a connection with something.  It might be unknown to him, but just so long the hunting continues, all is well. 

If one flame exists in each of us and we are able to pursue it in only tiny moments of our lives we will evolve.  Our consciousness will pulse with a new zeal.  If we fuel the flames of passion for something, we are living.  If we feel something for the Earth, the other, for a cause or god then we are evolving.  We are not suppose to be static. Our purpose is to take experience where it has not been.  If we move to they rhythm of our passion then we pulsate with love.  As we pulsate with a fervor, we are no longer burning with a cold red flame of animal nature, but with the white flame of passion.  One day our flames will turn blue.  Blue is the hottest and this is our true nature.  When the flame turns blue there will be no place for false intentions and actions.  All of the emptiness of ego power will extinguish with high white-vibration of molecules.  Then love will be known and touch each of us easily.

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